monthly health topic

Heart Health Month

Some helpful tips for better heart health

Heart Health Month

Keep Your Heart Strong

The following tips are key heart disease prevention steps that can help you adopt a heart healthy lifestyle:

  1. Eat a heart healthy diet

    Choose an array of foods:

    • a variety of deeply colored fresh fruits and veggies
    • high fiber whole grains
    • fat free or 1% low fat dairy products
    • lean meat, skinless poultry, and legumes
    • omega-3 fats found in salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, and canola oil
    • polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in most nuts, seeds, olive
    • oil, and olive/canola oil margarines

  2. Saturated and trans fat can increase the risk of heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, the American Heart Association recommends limiting these fats:

    • no more than 30% of calories from total fat
    • less than 7% of the calories from saturated fat
    • less than 1% of the calories from trans fat, or as low as possible
    • and the remaining 22% of the fat calories from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat
    • with less than 300 milligram of cholesterol per day

  3. Choose and prepare foods with as little salt as possible

    The new USDA guidelines suggest that all Americans should try to limit their sodium intake to no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. Check the Nutrition Facts for the amount of sodium in your favorite food products. Package claims for sodium are based on one serving, so make sure you check the number of servings per package (some products marketed as a single serving actually contain 2 or more servings):

    Salt or Sodium Free less than 5 mg sodium per serving
    Low sodium140 mg or less per serving
    Light in sodium50% less sodium compared to the traditional food
    Less/reduced sodium25% less sodium compared to the traditional food

  4. Limit alcohol intake and avoid tobacco products

    If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. That means no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women. A “drink” can be 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits.

    Many of the 4,800 chemicals found in tobacco smoke can damage your heart and blood vessels. And, nicotine narrows your blood vessels, increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. But the good news is that one year after you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops dramatically.

  5. Engage in regular physical activity

    The American Heart Association guidelines recommend you get at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days of the week for a healthier heart. However, even shorter amounts of exercise time offer heart benefits, so if you cannot meet those guidelines, don’t give up. You can even benefit if your workout time is divided into 10-minute sessions 3 to 6 times per day. And remember that gardening, housecleaning, walking the dog or parking the car farther from the entrance all count towards your daily exercise.

  6. health screenings/supplements

    Our Pharmacists…Your Partner
    Did you know that your pharmacists at Stop & Shop can do more than fill your prescription? As your partner in helping you achieve and maintain good health, your pharmacist can provide advice on:

    • How to take medications safely and effectively
    • Food and drug interactions
    • Information on vitamins and supplements, including those used for heart health, like CoQ10 and Fish Oil
    • Assistance in selecting over-the-counter medications

  7. Plus, we’re proud to offer many heart health medications at low $3.99 (30 day) and $9.99 (90 day) prices. Talk to our pharmacist to find out if your medications are available at these prices. Additionally, our pharmacist can review your medications to see if any other cost-saving alternatives may be available to you.